It was 25th November, 2004. A beautiful Eid morning. After our morning prayers, I was with my friends visiting our neighbours to greet them on the festive occasion. While at a friend’s house, I got the news – “Your maternal grandmother passed away”. My initial reaction was “No, it is not possible. How can it? She was healthy and happy“. Running back to my house, I had only one selfish thought in my head – Please let it be any one else, but not her. Please, let it be that I heard wrong. Please, not her.
It was the first close death I encountered and it affected me deeply. A guilt feeling remained in me and still do, for I feel I did not tell my Salaams and good-bye properly the last time I saw her. I wished I had hugged her tight. Only in retrospect do we know it was ‘a last moment’. Only later do we realize the importance of a past moment.
My grandmother was a strong, intelligent and beautiful woman.May it be herbal medicines, child care or household trivia, she always had sound knowledge and a well-informed opinion about it. Her soft smile, kindness and charitable ways won the hearts of everyone who knew her. To all the kids in the neighbourhood, she was “Chaachi”. Since I and my siblings lived outside India and visited only once a year, we were her favourite. She made sure there was every delicacy prepared, sweets and pickles made and kept mango and jack fruits saved just for us (even though it was off-season) and eagerly awaited the monsoons not exactly for the rain but for our arrival.
A decade later, I miss her soft smile that leads to wrinkling underneath her eyes. I miss her serene face. I miss her wise words.
Some of my favourite granny sayings :
- Don’t skip your dinner. You will lose the weight of a pigeon. ( I used this logic when I wanted to shed a few pounds off while in college :D)
- There will be more people but not more land. Hence buy land now ( She uttered this nearly 20 years back and this is quite apt now with the rising cost of real estate in Kerala)
- Plant teak and Mahogany as a child. You will thank yourself as an adult.
May she be blessed with the highest place in Jannah and may He reunite us again in His eternal blissful gardens.